March 28th, 2020

Defensive Firearms — Understanding Terminal Ballistics

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

If you are evaluating a firearm for self-defense use, you should consider three main factors: Reliability, Functionality (sights, trigger, ergonomics), and Effectiveness (ability to halt/neutralize threats). Regarding effectiveness, you need to consider what happens when the projectiles from your firearm reach the target. That involves penetration and terminal ballistics.

A 12ga shotgun is very effective inside 20 yards, with less risk of over-penetration* vs. a centerfire rifle.
Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity


*This Shooting Illustrated article discusses over-penetration risks with a variety of cartridge types. “A bullet passing through a threat and continuing with the potential to cause unintentional damage to a bystander or object is a situation commonly described as over-penetration.”

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March 27th, 2020

Ammo Sales Spike… and Gun News in Pandemic Times

Coronavirus Ammo Ammuniction Sales Guns FFL SCOPE Data

Here are some gun-industry news highlights for the week. With the Coronovirus pandemic dominating the news, there have been some important developments. First, we are seeing a huge spike in ammo sales, along with significant growth in gun purchases. Second, groups are fighting State Executive Orders mandating closures of gun stores. Third, a number of gun accessory companies are gearing up to provide health-related products such as N95 masks and disinfectants.

Coronavirus Ammo Ammuniction Sales Guns FFL SCOPE DataAmmunition Sales Spike with Widespread Concerns Over Coronavirus Pandemic
The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) SCOPE data platform reported a 168% spike in ammunition shipments for the week ending March 14. For all of 2020 so far, ammo shipments are up 21%.

Ammo Sales up 168% Nationwide
During the week ending March 14, distributors shipped close to $10,000,000 worth of ammunition, representing a 168% bump above the 3-year average for the same week. In some states, SCOPE DLX shows up to a 600% growth in ammunition shipments. Overall, ammunition shipments are up 21% year-to-date (YTD).

Gun Sales Rising Significantly
Concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic continue to drive firearms sales as well. According to Chris Means, NASGW Director and President of Tactical Gear Distributors, ammunition was the first category to spike but firearms have been following, with high demand for carry guns are ARs. Firearms shipments were up 13.74% compared to the 3-year average for March 8-14.

Coronavirus Ammo Ammuniction Sales Guns FFL SCOPE Data

About the Data Tracker: NASGW SCOPE is an analytics platform for shooting sports manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. SCOPE DLX collects weekly shipment data from 20 leading distributors that represent demand from FFLs across the United States.

AR15s Are in High Demand Again — Sales are Rising

Gun Industry News — Coping with a Crisis

Legal Challenge to New Jersey Closure of Firearms Dealers
The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a lawsuit challenging New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s order shutting down firearms dealers in the Garden State. In Kashinsky v. Murphy, the SAF is joined by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society in alleging violation of “civil rights under color of law” by shutting down firearms dealerships, preventing citizens and businesses from exercising their rights under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Federal Judge Judge Shipp has set Friday, April 3 as the deadline for the state’s opposition brief to the SAF’s suit. This important Second Amendment case could have ramifications across the nation.

New York Shutters Kimber Manufacturing Plant in Yonkers NY
In related news, the Kimber Plant in New York state has been closed in response to executive orders. Due to the New York state decision to shutter non-essential businesses as part of the COVID-19 response plan, Kimber Mfg. Inc. has stopped production at its New York facilities. Production continues at Kimber’s new, state-of-the-art Troy, Alabama manufacturing facility.

NOTE: In many other states, firearms and ammunition production facilities, along with retail gunstores, ARE recognized as “essential businesses” and therefore allowed to stay open. For a state-by-state run-down, read the NSSF Covid-19 Information and Resources for FFLs.

Radians Donates 14,000 N95 Masks to TN Hospitals
Radians, manufacturer of quality safety eyewear and hearing protection for shooters and hunters, donated over 14,000 N95 masks to medical facilities in Memphis, TN. Wisely, in 2018 Radians added the N95 respirator to its line of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Radians CEO, Mike Tutor, said the N95 mask donation “represents Radians’ corporate responsibility to help during challenging times. With a worldwide shortage of respirator masks, we knew this donation would quickly assist first responders and health care workers [during] the COVID-19 crisis. The respirators will also be of service at COVID-19 test sites.”

Coronavirus Ammo Ammuniction Sales Guns FFL SCOPE Data

Otis Technology Joins the Fight Against COVID-19
Otis Technology has partnered with Saint Lawrence Spirits to make, bottle and distribute hand sanitizer to first responders in desperate need during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Otis Technology began using its facilities — normally used to manufacture firearms maintenance products — to immediately begin manufacturing personal protective equipment.

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March 26th, 2020

Cartridges of the World (16th Edition) Covers 1500+ Types

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of the World (16th Edition), belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. This massive 688-page reference contains illustrations and load data for over 1500 cartridge types. If you shoot a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest edition (release date 7/23/2019) includes 50 new cartridge types and 1500+ photos. This print version can be ordered for about $30.00 at Amazon.com (plus shipping and tax), while a Kindle eBook version costs $14.99.

Updated 16th Edition Released Late July 2019
The 16th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. Cartridges of the World, the most complete cartridge reference guide in print, now includes a lengthy full-color section with feature articles such as 7mm Rem Magnum, .44 Special History, and “P.O. Ackley’s Best Improved Cartridges”.

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of the World 16th Ed. CHAPTERS:
Chapter 1: Current American Sporting Cartridges
Chapter 2: Obsolete American Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 3: Wildcat Cartridges
Chapter 4: Proprietary Cartridges
Chapter 5: Handgun Cartridges of the World
Chapter 6: Military Rifle Cartridges of the World
Chapter 7: British Sporting Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 8: European Sporting Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 9: American Rimfire Cartridges
Chapter 10: Shotgun Shells
Chapter 11: U.S. Military Ammunition
Chapter 12: Cartridge ID by Measurement

Cartridges of the World by author Frank C. Barnes was first published in 1965. The 16th Edition is edited by W. Todd Woodard, Editor of Gun Tests magazine and author of several firearms reference books. Frank Barnes (1918-1992) began collecting information on handgun cartridges at the early age of 12, thanks to his father, a police officer. Frank Barnes was an innovative cartridge designer, who invented the original 308 x 1.5″ Barnes, predecessor of the 30BR case.

Before Frank began a law enforcement career, he was a college professor. Frank was also a pilot, and a race-car driver. Learn more about Cartridges of the World (15th Ed.) at www.gundigest.com.

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March 25th, 2020

Locate Affordable Ammo Supplies with AmmoSeek.com

Ammoseek search engine ammuntion reloading supplies

Right now, due to concerns about personal safety and potential civil unrest, Americans are arming themselves with all types of firearms — pistols, rifles, and shotguns. While plenty of guns are available, in many areas, certain types of ammunition are in short supply — particularly 12ga shotshells and 9mm centerfire ammo. This has lead to price gouging. Some online vendors are charging up to $5 per round for for 12ga buckshot shotshells!

Thankfully, if you shop around a bit, you can still find all types of defensive ammunition at reasonable prices. Everything from .22 Shorts to 12 gauge. For example, Midsouth Shooters has a variety of 12ga ammo for under $0.30 per round. And in most states, it is completely legal to order ammunition online and have it delivered to you at home. CLICK HERE for AmmoSeek 12 Gauge Ammo Listings.

Here’s a great search service that can help you locate hard-to-find ammunition and reloading components — while saving money in the process. AmmoSeek.com monitors more than a dozen online vendors — checking current pricing and available inventory, for pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition. Looking for .22 LR ammo for your rimfire trainer or .45 acp ammo for your 1911? Just select the cartridge type from the “Quick Seek” list on the right. Likewise you can find .223 Rem and .308 Win Rifle ammo with one click.

Ammoseek search engine ammunition reloading supplies skagit arms WA
Got Ammo? Here’s just part of the vast inventory at Skagit Arms in Washington State.

Use Ammoseek.com to Find Reloading Components Too
Ammoseek.com also lets you search for reloading components, including powder, primers, brass, and bullets. This is a huge time-saver. You can instantly check a dozen or more vendors to see if a particular type of powder is in stock. Likewise, you can quickly check for primer availability. If you have a big match coming up and are short on primers — this could solve the problem. To search for components, from the AmmoSeek home page, click the gray “Reloading” Tab, then select Bullets, Brass, Primers, or Powder from the pull-down menu.

Ammoseek search engine ammunition reloading supplies

Great Threat Response Shotgun Deal
Need a serious 12 gauge defensive shotgun? Here’s what may just be the best deal in America right now — the Weatherby Threat Response 12ga Shotgun for just $269.89 at CDNN Sports.

Weatherby 12ga threat response shotgun

This impressive Weatherby pump-action 12ga shotgun features an 18.5″ barrel, with Fiber Optic front sight and Ghost Ring rear sight. There’s a Picatinny-type rail on top to fit a red dot sight (recommended) or other optic. The Threat Response shotgun holds 5 rounds. With pistol grip stock, good tactical sights, and a rail, this is a great value in a defensive shotgun from a quality company. NOTE: An extension tube (shown in video) can be fitted to increase capacity.

Story Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 23rd, 2020

Bargain Finder 235: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Weatherby Threat Response 12ga Shotgun, $269.89

Weatherby 12ga threat response shotgun

This impressive Weatherby pump-action 12ga shotgun features an 18.5″ barrel, with Fiber Optic front sight and Ghost Ring rear sight. There’s a Picatinny-type rail on top to fit a red dot sight (recommended) or other optic. The Threat Response shotgun holds 5 rounds. With pistol grip stock, good tactical sights, and a rail, this is a great value in a defensive shotgun from a quality company. NOTE: An extension tube (shown in video) can be fitted to increase capacity.

2. My Patriot Supply — 4-Week Emergency Food Supply, $197.00

emergency food reserver supply meals Patriot

This full 4-Week Emergency Food Supply contains 284 servings — that’s breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for an entire month, with the recommend 2000+ calories per day. All meals are stowed in resealable, heavy-duty, 4-layer pouches. You’ll find 12 food varieties, with up to 25-year shelf life. Patriot Supply also sells a 2-week Food Supply, but that sold out recently.

3. MidwayUSA — Caldwell Rock Front Rest and Bag, $99.99

Caldwell Rock rest and rear bag

Here’s a great bargain for someone looking for a basic functional benchrest set-up. This Rest and Bag Combo could be a gift to a family member or a junior shooter. Or this $99.99 combo would suffice for someone testing a hunting rifle. The front rest adjusts for both windage and elevation.

4. Midsouth Shooters — .17 Cal and .22 Cal Rimfire Ammo Sale

.22 cal .17 HMR HM2 wmr rimfire ammo ammunition

Though ammo demand has spiked, Midsouth Shooters has a great selection of rimfire ammunition from top brands: Lapua, SK, CCI, Hornady, Norma, Federal, Winchester, and Aguila. The most popular rimfire cartridge types are in stock at good prices: .17 Mach2, .17 HMR, 22 Shot, .22 LR, .22 WMR. While other vendors are taking advantage of current high demand to raise prices, Midsouth has held the line with very attractive prices, such as Norma 40gr Tactical .22 LR for just $4.41 per box — 9 cents per round.

5. CDNN Sports — Walther 9mm Creed Pistol, $249.99

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

While Walther makes premium pistols, such as the steel-frame Q5 shown above, Walther also makes good reliable pistols that cost much less than a Glock or Sig polymer pistol. The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls for just $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar.

6. Stocky’s — Rem 700 Composite Stock with Accublock, $99.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

These stocks were the first run of Stocky’s Long Range Composite Sporters. There is nothing wrong with these “factory seconds” except the barrel channels are narrower than current versions, so you may have to open up the barrel channels a bit (simple task). On Sale for $99.99, these are an Amazing Bargain. Designed for Rem 700 and Rem clone actions, these LRC Sporter Stocks are constructed from a high-fiber composite with precision aluminum Accublock® chassis molded into the stock.

7. MidwayUSA — Pelican Vault Rifles Cases, 30% Off

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

These are quality hard rifle cases. Pelican Vault Series cases feature stout construction, weather seals, and strong locking systems. MidwayUSA was not advertising the price, but when added to a shopping cart (on 3/22/20) the wheeled 53″ V800 case was $139.96 while the non-wheeled 50″ V770 case was $104.96. The wheeled 44″ V730 case was $135.96 in the cart. These Pelican Vault cases feature 5 layers of internal foam and stainless steel lock hasps.

8. Amazon — Custom Damascus Hunting Knife, $59.99

custom hunting damascus knife

Having a good hunting knife on your hip when you’re out in the field is a necessity. Whether dressing your game, making kindling, or getting out of dangerous situations, the importance of having a good knife can’t be overstated. If you’re looking for new one or maybe a gift for that new young hunter in your life, take a look at this custom Damascus hunting knife complete with leather sheath. It can do a myriad of tasks while looking great with that Damascus steel blade.

9. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes, $24.99

MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

Here’s a great product at a great price. The versatile MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5″ x 11.3″ x 7.5″ carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well-built and great design — a steal at the price.” Right now this carrier is on sale at Amazon for just $24.99. The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. NOTE: Last year this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $24.99 price represents a 37% savings!

10. Amazon — Tactical Eyewear Kit, $16.99

tactical eyeware

Wearing eye protection should be second nature for anyone around firearms for so many obvious reasons. Whether for you, a backup or to have for those shooting with you grab a set of XAegis Tactical Eyewear Kit that come complete with 3 different lenses and protective case. You can easily switch from Gray, to Yellow, to Clear lenses in the frame. This 3-Lens Eyewear Kit is an Amazon #1 Best Seller.

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March 23rd, 2020

Gun Rights Threatened by Health-Related State Executive Orders

Coronavirus heath covid-19 executive order health shelter place stay home crisis gun store FFL

This article is written from California where gun stores are shuttered due to the ordered closure of “non-essential businesses”, as part of the effort to slow spread of the Coronavirus. While there is no outright ban on purchasing a gun in California, from a practical standpoint, the gunshops are all closed now. It’s very difficult to purchase ammo as well. But you CAN buy cannabis (marijuana). Yes, that’s right, California Governor Newsom declared Cannabis Dispensaries (Pot Shops) to be essential businesses. Oh well…

Currently 14 U.S. states have issued Stay-at-Home executive orders. In most locations these orders mandate business shutdowns as part of the “Stay at Home/Shelter in Place” strategies. Some states are closing gun stores, others are not. We think gun stores do provide “essential services” that help Americans defend themselves, their families, their homes, and their property. We applaud Illinois which stated that gun and ammo dealers are “essential businesses” that would NOT be closed as part of the Illinois Stay at Home program.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is working to ensure that firearms-related businesses are allowed to keep their doors open during these difficult times. The NSSF stated:

[T]he National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is hard at work for you during this challenging time as the nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic. NSSF is in contact with the White House, Capitol Hill, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advocating that our industry — from manufacturers to distributors to retailers to ranges — be declared by DHS as a “national critical infrastructure industry”. The DHS list is only guidance to states and local governments and does not carry the force of law. Therefore, NSSF is proactively working at the state and local level to advocate that our industry be exempted from any emergency ordinances or orders as “essential businesses”.

For example, through NSSF’s efforts, a proposed city ordnance in Albuquerque, NM, to shutter firearm retailers was defeated. Most recently, in response to NSSF’s efforts, the Governor of Illinois, in his emergency “shelter in place” executive order, declared that firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers are “essential” and may remain open for business. Please see official statement below:

Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations (Illinois):
Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support or materials necessary to operate, including computers, audio and video electronics, household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; hardware, paint, flat glass; electrical, plumbing and heating material; sanitary equipment; personal hygiene products; food, food additives, ingredients and components; medical and orthopedic equipment; optics and photography equipment; diagnostics, food and beverages, chemicals, soaps and detergent; and firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security;

Coronavirus heath covid-19 executive order health shelter place stay home crisis gun store FFL

The NSSF is also providing guidance for gunshop owners and FFLs. If you operate a sporting goods store or gunshop that sells firearms, you may want to visit the NSSF website, NSSF.org, for guidance on securing your inventory and dealing with increased demand and panic buying.

(more…)

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March 22nd, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Desert Tech SRS-A1 7mm RSAUM Bullpup

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum
Here is the view from 9500 feet ASL. The SRS in 7mm Rem SAUM almost outran the Swarovski laser…

7mm RSAUM in a bolt-action bullpup? Yes it works. A talented shooter, who calls himself “ColdboreMiracle” in social media, has a Desert Tech SRS-A1 rifle chambered for the 7mm RSAUM, and it hammers. The 7mm Remington SAUM (Short Action Ultra Magnum) is popular with F-Open competition shooters. It can also work well for long-range hunting and tactical tasks. Learn more about the 7mm Remington SAUM in our 7mm Cartridge Guide.

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

ColdboreMiracle owns the SRS-A1 “covert” model, which has a shorter handguard than the standard SRS-A1 model shown below. Desert Tech now offers an SRS-A2 model which has an M-LOK handguard and some refinements to the chassis.

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

Here is a detailed video review of a Desert Tech SRS chambered in .308 Win. You can see a close-up of a 100-yard 5-shot group at time-mark 6:25:

Here is a review of the newer SRS-A2 Covert (shorter model), after 1000 rounds. The reviewer believe the SRS bullpup’s shorter length offers some advantages for precision shooters:

ColdboreMiracle says the bullpup design has many advantages: “The Stealth Recon Scout (SRS) rifle from Desert Tech is a bullpup-configured precision rifle with a shorter length than many carbines. The SRS has a multitude of barrel options that can be swapped in under a minute — all of them come with a 1/2-MOA accuracy guarantee and return to zero. The SRS’s bullpup design puts the rifle’s COG closer to the shoulder, making the rifle balance better off-hand. The straight-line geometry of the SRS makes recoil seem lighter, and barrel hop is reduced, allowing the shooter to stay on target better. It takes a little getting used to, when converting from a traditionally-configured bolt gun. But once you do, you won’t go back.” To learn more about this rifle (and other Desert Tech arms), visit ColdboreMiracle’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

The 7mm RSAUM — Why It Was Chosen for this SRS

ColdboreMiracle explains how he selected the 7mm Rem SAUM chambering for his Desert Tech SRS Bullpup: “I just did a comparison between barrel life, velocity, brass, etc. and came to the SAUM. I can tell you this, if you go with one for your SRS, make sure you use long bullets like the 183 or 195, and seat them long. That will aid in smooth cycling.”

Mr. ColdboreMiracle tested the new generation 183gr Sierra MatchKings (item # 1983). These impressive projectiles are “tipped” at the factory. Claimed G1 BC is a lofty 0.707 (at 2300 fps and above). We have heard other reports that these bullets “hold waterline” exceptionally well at 1000 yards. That indicates the bullet-to-bullet BC is very consistent. No doubt the factory uniforming/pointing of the bullet tips helps in that regard.

As you can see, these 183-grainers shoot well in ColdboreMiracle’s SRS rifle. Here are five shots at 100 yards. That’s very impressive for a tactical-style rifle shot from a field-type bipod.

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

ColdboreMiracle says: “This is the only reason I need to shoot Sierra bullets. On the right (above) you can see the results of the 183gr SMK from my 7mm SAUM. Five shots at 100. A huge thanks to Mark at Short Action Customs, LLC for [chambering this barrel] for my Desert Tech SRS.”

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

7mm Remington SAUM — Key Considerations

7mm RSAUM short action ultra magnum mag remingtoIn some respects, the 7mm SAUM cartridge may be better than the 7mm WSM. The 7mm SAUM holds less powder — but that’s a good thing, since the capacity is more than adequate to do the job. You can drive the 180s at 3000 fps with a SAUM using less powder than with a WSM. Additionally, the SAUM case has a slightly longer neck. This gives you greater flexibility in bullet seating. With a long neck you can set the throat so the long 180+ graing bullets are above the neck shoulder junction, yet you can still seat shorter hunting bullets close to the lands. Additionally, long case necks, some believe, cause less throat erosion than shorter necks. That’s not “hard science” but it is certainly a view shared by many experienced shooters. The long neck is one reason many varminters favor the 6mm Remington over the .243 Winchester.

7mm RSAUM Is More Efficient than 7mm WSM
7mm RSAUM shooter Steven Ikeeda tells us: “I decided that some type of 7mm was the ticket for doing well at 1000-yard matches, especially if one could drive the high-BC bullets at 2900+ fps. Looking over various 7mm cartridges that could produce those velocities (and didn’t require case-forming), I was impressed by the 7mm SAUM and the 7mm WSM. According to the load manuals, the 7mm WSM offered a bit more velocity than the 7mm SAUM. However, to achieve its small velocity advantage, the larger 7mm WSM had to burn 7-10% more powder than the 7mm SAUM. (The 7mm WSM has 81.0 grains of capacity vs. 73.6 grains for the 7mm SAUM.) The SAUM is a very efficient case. It looks like a 6.5×47 Lapua on steroids.”

Coldboremiracle SRA Desert Tech LLC Bullpup 7mm .284 SAUM RSAUM Remington short action ultra magnum

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March 20th, 2020

MagnetoSpeed Sporter — On Sale for under $158

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

If you have been waiting to purchase a chronograph… now is a great time to buy. You can get the affordable MagnetoSpeed Sporter for under $158.00. You can set up this device in a few minutes, and you never have to go downrange to fiddle with a tripod or fuss with wires. The MagnetoSpeed Sporter is simple and effective — a no-hassle solution.

See MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph Features Reviewed in Video

We like the Sporter chrono, as do other shooters — this unit is very popular. Like the MagnetoSpeed V3, the Sporter faithfully records shots, even in complete darkness. Shot strings are recorded digitally and can be transferred to a smart phone via MagnetoSpeed’s XFR accessory (and Apps).

The MagnetoSpeed Sporter is less than half the price of previous MagnetoSpeed models. This is big news for shooters who always wanted a MagnetoSpeed but found the $379.00 cost (for V3 model) too pricey. The new Sporter Chronograph costs just $157.71 at Midsouth Shooters and $179.00 at Amazon.

The Magnetospeed Sporter offers most of the features of the more expensive models (see chart below for details) and has a updated sensor. MagnetoSpeed says its new Sporter is “Ideal for contoured rifle barrels (sporter barrels) and long-barreled revolvers.” The Sporter Chronograph Kit (shown above) includes: Bayonet Sensor, 3.5 foot Data Cable, Remote Display (with Battery), Strap with thumb nut, Two V-block spacers, and compact storage box.

Available NOW: MagnetoSpeed Sporter $157.71 at Midsouth Shooters and $179.00 at Amazon.

Q: Will the Sporter Chrono work with thicker barrel (i.e. greater than 1″ diameter)?

A: The manufacturer recommends the $399.00 V3 model for thicker barrels. But, wink-wink, if you have a 1.25″ barrel you can get this to work, based on what we’ve seen.. If you have a really fat barrel (up to 2.0″ diameter), get the V3. Magnetospeed also says the V3 is needed for airguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.

Click Image for Full-Screen Photo
magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

The Sporter Chrono attaches quickly and easily. It has a 3.5-foot-long cord, and will work with Muzzle Brakes and Flash-hiders up to 2.7″ long.

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

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March 19th, 2020

How Much Accuracy is Enough — What Works for Your Discipline?

Jim See Elite Accuracy
This impressive 15-round group was shot by Jim See of Elite Accuracy.

Different Shooting Disciplines Demand Different Levels of Precision/Accuracy
In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.

What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, recently answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.

Jim See Elite Accuracy

“I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See

It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at EliteAccuracy.com.

Download This Load Development Target

Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. AccurateShooter.com created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the AccurateShooter.com Target Page.

AccurateShooter precision load development free target

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 2 Comments »
March 19th, 2020

Spring Has Sprung — 8 Great Items for Vernal Equinox Varminting

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog
This custom war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

Winter is behind us — it’s officially Spring. Today, March 19, 2020, is the Vernal Equinox, the official start of Spring. For many shooters, the coming of Spring means that it’s time to head out to the varmint fields. Here are eaidht items that can help ensure successful spring varmint adventures.

Eight Great Products for Varmint Shooters

1. BarrelCool In-Action Fan

Busy Varmint shooters may expend hundreds of rounds in a day. That’s tough on barrels. One way to extend your round count is to use the ingenious BarrelCool device. This little yellow gadget fits in your action with a blower tube that goes into the chamber. A small electric fan blows cooling air through the barrel. It really works — folks who’ve purchased the Barrel Cool and run temp strips on their barrel say the BarrelCool can significantly reduce the time it takes to cool down a hot barrel.

barrelcool cool fan empty Chamber indicator

In the past, folks have tried various methods to cool barrels: water flushed through the bore, CO2 tanks, even battery-operated fish pumps. BarrelCool is a simpler, less costly, and much handier solution. Priced at $36.99, this small device can potentially can save you money by extending barrel life. To see how Barrelcool works, visit BarrelCool.com. There you’ll find video demos of BarrelCool units in both bolt-action and AR-type rifles.

2. Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag Sandbag

On most varmint hunts we spend most of the time shooting from a portable bench with a pedestal-type rest (we like the SEB Mini). But it’s nice having a big, heavy X-Type sandbag rig also. These four-chamber designs, such as the Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag, allow shooting from a truck hood or any flat surface. Some rifles with narrow fore-ends really benefit from the firm “hug” provided by these “butterfly” style sandbags. We like the 15″ Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag, currently $71.99 at Brownells. Durable and well-made, it will provide years of service. There is also a 10″ version that is easier to carry. Forum member Stoner24mkiv likes a Bulls Bag for shooting from a vehicle. He also suggests: “[take] an adjustable bipod if you are going to do any walking. Have a fanny pack or backpack for extra ammo, water, bore-snake, etc. when you go on your walkabouts. Bring a Boonie hat for blocking the sun, sun glasses, sunscreen. High leather boots.”

Bulls Bag sandbag varmint rest front

3. Scope with Built-In Laser Rangefinder

The Burris Eliminator III is an impressive piece of electro-optical technology. With a push of a button, a built-in laser rangefinder senses the distance to your target and the Eliminator’s microprocessor instantly calculates the required hold-over based on your load’s ballistics. The calculated aiming point is then displayed in the reticle with an illuminated red dot on the vertical cross-hair. Just put the red dot on the target and make the shot. Easy as that. If you are working a large prairie dog field and constantly moving near to far and back again, this scope is really handy. Laze, adjust aim with the dot, and squeeze the trigger. Its that simple. We’ve used this scope out to 500 yards on small steel targets and it worked flawlessly.

Burris Eliminator III laser optic Scope

4. Hornady 17 HMR V-Max 500 Round Brick, $89.99

For those distant prairie dog shots, you’ll want a centerfire round such as a 22 BR/BRA or 22-250. However, for closer work, or for smaller varmints such as ground squirrels, the 17 HMR is hard to beat. There are many good factory rifles chambered for the 17 HMR, such as the Savage A17. Right now Midsouth has a Hornady 17 HMR brick of 500 for a low price of $89.99. That works out to just 18 cents per round — cheap enough that you can blast sage rats all days long and never worry about running out of ammo.

17 hmr ammo

5. Stick-On Temp Strips Monitor Barrel Heat

You never want your barrel to get too hot. Accuracy suffers when barrels over-heat, and excessive heat is not good for barrel life. So how do you monitor your barrel’s temperature? You can check if the barrel is “warm to the touch” — but that method is not particularly precise. There is a better way — using temperature-sensitive strips. McMaster.com (an industrial supply house) offers stick-on temp strips with values from 86° F to 140° F. A pack of ten (10) of these strips (item 59535K13) costs $12.77 — so figure it’ll cost you about $1.28 per barrel for strips. That’s cheap insurance for your precious barrels. For best barrel life, try to stay under 120 degrees F.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

6. Low-Fouling Power for High-Volume Varmint Loads

For high-shot-count varmint safaris, you want a clean-burning powder that minimizes barrel fouling. While there are many great powders for the .223 Rem, we like Hodgdon CFE 223 for our high-volume varmint loads. This powder really seems to keep barrels cleaner. Originally developed for U.S. rapid-fire military systems, CFE 223 incorporates a proprietary chemistry named “Copper Fouling Eraser”. Based on tests with extended shot strings, Hodgdon claims that, by using CFE™223, match shooters, varmint hunters, and AR shooters can maintain accuracy for longer periods, with less barrel-cleaning time.

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog

7. Bog Pod SB-2 Sportsman’s Bipod (21″-40″)

If you’re looking for a versatile, stable and easy-to-carry field support, check out the latest BOG-POD Series SB-2 Bipod. Featuring 21″-40″ adjustable legs, the BOG-POD Bipod can be used while sitting, standing, or kneeling. This kid of support is highly recommended for shooting on hills where a conventional bipod doesn’t offer enough elevation. This unit has a 360° swivel head and the legs adjust independently out to a 60-degree angle with adjustable tension to ensure maximum accuracy. Right now you can get this SB-2 Bipod for just $19.99 on Amazon — a great deal.

bogpod bog pod sportsmans varmint bipod

8. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radios

When you’re in the varmint fields, its essential to have good communications with your fellow shooters. You can’t count on cell coverage in the hinterlands so we recommend a good pair of Walkie-Talkies. The Motorola T100s have a very impressive range (up to 16 miles in ideal conditions), yet cost just $21.99 for the pair. These 22-Channel T100 Talkabouts will run up to 18 hours on three AAA batteries. Users have been very pleased with this inexpensive handheld radios.

motorola t100 talkabout radio walkie talkie wireless

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
March 18th, 2020

For Less Run-Out, Try Rotating Your Cases During Bullet Seating

Bullet Seating Reloading rotate cartridge Run-out TIR

Here is a simple technique that can potentially help you load straighter ammo, with less run-out (as measured on the bullet). This procedure costs nothing and adds only a few seconds to the time needed to load a cartridge. Next time you’re loading ammo with a threaded (screw-in) seating die, try seating the bullet in two stages. Run the cartridge up in the seating die just enough to seat the bullet half way. Then lower the cartridge and rotate it 180° in the shell-holder. Now raise the cartridge up into the die again and finish seating the bullet.

Steve, aka “Short Range”, one of our Forum members, recently inquired about run-out apparently caused by his bullet-seating process. Steve’s 30BR cases were coming out of his neck-sizer with good concentricity, but the run-out nearly doubled after he seated the bullets. At the suggestion of other Forum members, Steve tried the process of rotating his cartridge while seating his bullet. Steve then measured run-out on his loaded rounds. To his surprise there was a noticeable reduction in run-out on the cases which had been rotated during seating. Steve explains: “For the rounds that I loaded yesterday, I seated the bullet half-way, and turned the round 180 degrees, and finished seating the bullet. That reduced the bullet runout by almost half on most rounds compared to the measurements from the first test.”

READ Bullet Seating Forum Thread »

run-out bullet

run-out bullet

Steve recorded run-out measurements on his 30 BR brass using both the conventional (one-pass) seating procedure, as well as the two-stage (with 180° rotation) method. Steve’s measurements are collected in the two charts above. As you can see, the run-out was less for the rounds which were rotated during seating. Note, the change is pretty small (less than .001″ on average), but every little bit helps in the accuracy game. If you use a threaded (screw-in) seating die, you might try this two-stage bullet-seating method. Rotating your case in the middle of the seating process won’t cost you a penny, and it just might produce straighter ammo (nothing is guaranteed). If you do NOT see any improvement on the target, you can always go back to seating your bullets in one pass. READ Forum Thread..

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
March 18th, 2020

Can’t Find Varget or Reloder 15? Then Try IMR 4320

IMR 4320 Varget Powder Hodgdon reloading 6mm Dasher

IMR 4320 Varget Powder Hodgdon reloadingWhile Varget and Reloder 15 remain in short supply, you can often find IMR 4320 powder back in the shelves of local gun stores. IMR describes IMR 4320 as follows: “Short granulation, easy metering, and perfect for the 223 Remington, 22-250 Remington, 250 Savage and other medium burn rate cartridges.” This older-generation powder is considerably more temp sensitive than the Hodgdon Extreme propellants, but in the right application, it looks to be a viable alternative for folks who can’t source Varget, Reloder 15, and even H4895.

IMR 4320 Shoots Well in the .308 Winchester
A while back, GS Arizona wrote an excellent Riflemans Journal article, IMR 4320 — the Forgotten Powder. GS developed IMR 4320 loads for his .308 Win Palma rifle and competed with IMR 4320-powered ammo at long range matches. He concluded that: “[IMR 4320] appears to be a very useful alternative to some of the harder-to-get powders. The load is working extremely well at 1000 yards. In the [2009] Arizona Palma State Championship, several high-placing competitors were using the 4320 load. We got sub X-Ring elevation at 1000 yards from several rifles, and that’s all I’m looking for in a Palma load.”

IMR 4320 Works for Dasher Shooter
Forum member FalconPilot shoots a 6mm Dasher with Berger 105gr Hybrids. Looking for an alternative to Varget, he decided to give IMR 4320 a try. The results were good. FalconPilot reports: “I’ve been looking for other options (besides Reloder 15, which I love, but it’s really dirty). While at a gun shop in Ohio, I ran across 8 pounds of IMR 4320. I had never even heard of it, much less tried it. Getting ready for upcoming mid-range shoots, I loaded five rounds with IMR 4320 to the exact same specs as my winning Varget loads for the 6mm Dasher. This recipe was 32.7 grains of powder, Wolf SMR primer, Berger Hybrid 105 jumped fifty thousandths.” Falcon pilot tested his IMR 4320 load at 600 yards:

As you can see from the photo at the top of this article, FalconPilot had good results — a 1.5″ group at 600 yards. He reports: “This group was shoot during the middle of the day, mirage bad, scope set to 25X. It looks like IMR 4320 is a [very close] replacement for Varget… with a tad bit slower burn rate.” FalconPilot tell us the accuracy with IMR 4320 rivals the best he has gotten with Varget: “This gun has always shot under 2 inches [for 5 shots] at 600 yards, and most of time shoots 1.5 to 1.7 inches.”

For comparison purposes, here are Heat of Explosion and Burn Rate values from QuickLOAD for IMR 4320, and for the popular Reloder 15 and Varget powders. You can see that these powders have similar characteristics “by the numbers”:

Manufacturer Powder Brand Heat of Explosion Burning Rate Factor
IMR 4320 3890 0.5920
Alliant Reloder 15 3990 0.5200
Hodgdon (ADI) Varget 4050 0.6150

WARNING — When changing from one powder to another, always start with manufacturer’s stated load data. Start low and work up incrementally. Never assume that loads will be equivalent from one powder to another, even powders with similar burn rates.

What Other Forum Members Say:

I was using IMR 4320 in the mid 70s in my .222 Rem. Darned great powder and I never had a load that was not accurate from the .222 to .30-06 with that powder. — 5Spd

A fine powder overshadowed by the nouveau wave of “gotta have the newest — make me a better shot” powders. Try 4320 in a 22-250 — what a well-kept secret! IMR 4320 meters very well and is a flexible alternative to many of the hard-to-find powders so much in demand. — AreaOne

IMR 4320 was my “go to” powder in my .223 for many many years. This powder and Winchester 55gr soft point bulk bullets (the cheapest bullet I could buy at the time) accounted for thousands of prairie dogs, coyotes, and anything else that needed shooting. I still use IMR 4320 in some .223 loads and am very happy with it still. — pdog2062

I’ve been using it in a .308 Win for several years. I think it is very sensitive to temperature and always waited till the last minute to load my ammo with a close eye on the weekend forecast at the range. IMR 4320 Works pretty good for 155gr Palma and 168gr Hybrid [bullets] in my .308. — JayC

IMR 8208 XBR is also good — if you can find it
Another good substitute for Varget powder in a .223 Rem or .308 Winchester is IMR 8208 XBR. In our own .308 Win tests, this generated slightly more velocity than Varget, with good ES/SD. However, this very good IMR 8208 XBR powder is out-of-stock at many vendors.

IMR 8208 XBR powder

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
March 18th, 2020

Sales of Guns and Ammo Spike with Coronavirus Concerns

gun ammo sales pandemic coronavirus covid-19 california

Today a friend, who has never owned a gun before, called this Editor to ask for firearms recommendations after California officials announced a lock-down of six California counties, home to 6.7 million people. He wanted a gun for defense of his home and family (he has a wife and two young boys).

This story is being repeated around the country as many Americans seek to acquire guns for home defense, many for the first time. There are also concerns that governmental emergency powers, put into place to deal with the Coronovirus pandemic, will be used to throttle the sales of guns and/or ammunition.

gun ammo sales pandemic coronavirus covid-19 california

In some cities in California, people are lining up around the block to buy guns and ammo. Many do not realize ID is required and there are background checks and waiting periods. Apparently they believed false media reports that firearms are easy to acquire. Our friend Vu Pham posted on Facebook: “Had several calls today [from acquaintances] asking me about buying their first firearm. They were shocked that they had to wait 10 days to actually take possession.”

Ammoland.com reports: “Gun and ammunition sales are surging around the country, including the Pacific Northwest, thanks apparently to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential for, as noted by the Daily Wire, ‘a breakdown in civil order or even a suspension of weapons sales’.”

As reported by KTVU News, in Vallejo, Calif., “More panic buying has erupted due to the coronavirus. And in addition to disinfectants and other household goods, guns and survival gear are in demand.”

Dan Mitchell, owner of Sporting Systems in Vancouver, told Ammoland News via email, “400,000 rounds (of ammunition) sold last week. Line around the block.”

The Sacramento Bee interviewed Gabriel Vaughn, owner of Sportsman’s Arms in Petaluma, CA. Seeing many first-time buyers, Vaughn stated that people’s attitudes about guns have changed now that they feel threatened: “People … tell me that they don’t like guns, but they’re here to begrudgingly buy one.”

What if a neighbor asks to borrow a weapon for defense? You should follow all federal, state, and local laws. You need to be aware of the laws concerning firearms transfers, if the gun leaves your immediate control. This is not just like sharing a gun at the range. Dennis Santiago notes: “It is a illegal in California to transfer a firearm without a background check and waiting period. Tell that to your non-gun friends when they ask to borrow a gun. They will ask. The answer is NO.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
March 17th, 2020

Free St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock and Pot of Gold Targets

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

Today, March 17th, is St. Patrick’s Day. With the current global health crisis it may be hard to feel lucky, but at least you can collect some lucky targets. Here are two free Irish-themed targets to provide some fun and a bit of challenge. Shoot these Shamrocks or the Pot of Gold and see if you have the “luck of the Irish”.

To help celebrate this traditional day of Irish pride, the NRA has created two (2) fun targets you can download, print, and shoot. Try out these free targets. Click each Irish target photo below to open a high-rez PDF file you can download and print.

The first target features a large four-leaf clover in the middle, with 17 other smaller three-leaf shamrocks around the outside. With five black bulls-eyes in the center graphic, that gives you a total of 22 aiming points for shooting fun. For added challenge we suggest you set this target at 100 yards for rimfire rifle and 200 years for a centerfire gun.

CLICK Below for Big PDF Shamrock Target

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

The second target offers the legendary Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. Along with a big bullseye on the pot, there are 15 shamrocks in gold circles, plus five small gold bars with tiny bullseyes. Those smallest bulls will be a challenge even at 100 yards. You’ll need a half-MOA (or better) rifle to “clean” this target, hitting the smallest red dots.

CLICK Below for Big PDF Pot of Gold Target

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

Whether you’re Irish or not, these targets will hopefully bring you a bit of luck. Click each image above to open a high-rez PDF file that you can print out. Then, this St. Patty’s day, wear your green, grab your gear, and head to range for some fun shooting.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 16th, 2020

Bargain Finder 234: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Sportsman’s WH — Rem 700 ADL Tactical .308 Win, $399.99

remington adl 700

The Remington 700 is the most popular modern bolt-action system in America. If you’re like most hunters and shooters you’d never complain about adding another Rem 700 rifle to your collection. We found an amazing deal on the Remington 700 ADL Tactical FDE in .308 Winchester. Get this fine .308 Win rifle for just $399.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Act soon — we expect this deal to sell out.

2. Powder Valley — Lapua Brass Deals

lapua brass

Lapua brass is top-of-the-line and that’s why we’re always on the hunt for a deal. This week we found Powder Valley has a great selection of Lapua brass and many of the sizes are marked down so grab some and start prepping for the next match. For example, .223 Rem is just $56.93/100 while .308 Win is $76.27/100. Both 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor are both $85.67 per hundred.

3. Midsouth — Nikon X1000 and FX1000 Sale, Free Tactical Bag

tactical range bag

Nikon has produced some excellent tactical scopes with great features and rock-solid warranties. Now these Nikon Black Force X1000 and FX1000 scopes are being offered at close-out prices by Midsouth Shooters. The X1000 has a second focal plane reticle while the FX1000 models are First Focal Plane (FFP). Special Bonus — with each Nikon Black Force scope you get a Free Tactical Range Bag.

4. Midway USA — Factory Seconds Bullet Sale

factory second bullets

Bullets aren’t getting any cheaper and for most of us we can’t tell a perfect bullet from one that is 99% as good so why pay full price if you don’t have to. Head over to MidwayUSA for their huge factory seconds bullet sale for some crazy savings. We can’t tell you the brands, but you’ll probably recognize them from caliber/weight, so take advantage of this sale.

5. EuroOptic — Nightforce Competition Demo Sale, $1,999

nightforce scope sale

The Nightforce Competition scopes are favored by top F-Class and Long Range competitors, including the the U.S. Rifle Team. These high-end 15-55X power optics normally cost $2400. However, for a limited time, you can pick up a demo model Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition for $1999.00. You know you’re going to get any scope dirty the first time you use it so why not buy a demo model and save $400. That $400 can buy a nice custom barrel and more.

6. Bruno’s — RCBS Match Master Powder Dispenser, $849.00

rcbs match master sale

RCBS promised to shake up the reloading world by recently releasing their newest powder dispenser. The Match Master promises to drop all types of powder using a two-tube system with an accuracy up to .04 grain. Choose speed mode or precision mode. Most vendors, such as MidwayUSA, are charging $899.00 or more. But you can save $50 at Bruno’s which sells the RCBS Match Master powder dispenser for $849.00, the best price we’ve found.

7. Amazon — Vinca Digital Caliper, $21.98

digital caliper

digital caliperEvery handloader needs a set of calipers, and this Vinca unit offers some great features for a very afforcable price. Do you ever wish you could take measurements and record them easily for review later? Grab this Vinca Digital Caliper for only $21.98 and you can upload data as you measure. The unit features a RS232 data transfer port that can communicate to a windows laptop or computer with an accessory cable (sold separately).

NOTE: The RS232 Data transfer port must connect with “VINCA DTCR-03″ Cable to make data transfer to PC. DO NOT CONNECT WITH REGULAR USB CABLE. This unit comes with one extra battery, and the maker offers a satisfaction guarantee.

8. Amazon — ProCase Tactical Range Bag, $49.99

tactical range bag

This ProCase Tactical Range Bag offers great capacity, plenty of pockets, and an adjustable interior. Here is an actual owner’s review: “This bag is holds everything I need to go to the range and/or competition. I was able to place my ammo, 2 pistols, 2 x eye glasses and ear protection, shot timer, 6 speed loaders for the revolvers, a small pistol cleaning kit, my concealment vest, shooting diary, 2 x pens and a water bottle. It is very well padded for protection, and it even had rubber feet on the bottom.”

9. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
March 15th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Twin 30 BR Score Rigs — Thunder Down-Under

30BR Hunter Class Rifle
This story, from our Gun of the Week Archives, offers a good intro to the 30 BR cartridge, which is still the leading chambering for short-range Score Benchrest.

What’s better than one custom-built 30 BR with gorgeous wood and top-shelf components? A matching pair of course. Just ask Australian shooter Greg Roche (“Caduceus” in our Forum). A decade ago, Greg spent two years living and working in the USA. While in America, he commissioned two matched custom rifles to bring back to Australia for Hunter Class BR matches. Though the look-alike rigs are both chambered in 30 BR, one is designed for the Australian “Traditional” centerfire Hunter Class (10-lb limit), while the other is purpose-built for the “Custom” centerfire Hunter Class (14-lb limit). The 10-lb Traditional rifle features a fully-functioning two-round magazine and a 6-power scope. In contrast the Custom Class rifle is a single-shot action, with a 45X Leupold scope. The Custom weighs 13.5 pounds so it can also be used in traditional Heavy Varmint Benchrest matches if desired.

30BR Hunter Class Rifle

Tale of Two Rifles
Story and Photos by Greg Roche (“Caduceus”)

The USA boasts some of the finest precision rifle-builders and Benchrest parts suppliers in the world. Before returning to Australia after two years in the States, I decided to have two special BR rifles built using American components and skilled labor. I wanted a matched pair — twin guns that would be as handsome as they were accurate. The heavier gun of the pair, the 13.5-lb Custom Class rifle, features top-of-the-line (but well-proven) technologies and components. With the 10.5-lb Traditional Class rifle, we had to develop new solutions to allow the 30 BR cartridge to feed from a functional two-round magazine. Here is my saga of how my twin 30 BRs were conceived and built, and how they have performed in competition.

30BR Hunter Class Rifle

BACKGROUND — The 30 BR for Score Competition

The 30 BR is a wildcat cartridge based on a necked-up version of the 6mmBR Norma case. It originated in U.S. Benchrest circles where it found its niche in Varmint For Score (VFS) matches. Unlike traditional Benchrest, where group size determines the winner, VFS matches are shot on a target with multiple, concentric-ringed bullseyes. Point total is based on “best edge” shot location (one shot per bull). In score competition, the 30 BR’s “supersized” .308-diameter hole offers an advantage over the 6mm hole created by a 6 PPC, the dominant group BR chambering.

30 BR cartridge

The starting point for loading the 30 BR wildcat is Lapua 6mmBR brass. These are necked up as a single-step operation using a .30 caliber tapered expander ball (or dedicated expander mandrel). This will leave a bulge in the neck, so the expanded case neck is normally turned to bring the thickness down to the correct dimension for the chamber. I turned these necks down to .010″ wall thickness using a Stiller neck-turning tool. It features an eccentric mandrel similar to the Nielson “Pumpkin”. Loaded rounds measure .328″ neck diameter. This gives minimum clearance in my .330″ neck chamber, so very little neck resizing is needed after firing. Cases are trimmed to 1.500″ prior to turning to ensure consistency since the Stiller tool indexes the length of cut off the case mouth. Other than that, cases are just chamfered, loaded and made ready to shoot. No special fire-forming is required.

17-Twist Barrels for Both Rifles
Texan gunsmith Mike Bryant chambered both barrels. Mike also polished both barrels to a high-gloss to match the receivers. In this game, barrels are consumables, much like powder and primers, so most owners wouldn’t bother to polish their barrels. However a 30 BR barrel can provide up to 5000 rounds of accurate life (unlike a 6PPC barrel which might be tossed after 800-1000 rounds.) So, these barrels are likely to be on the rifles for many seasons. Given the high-gloss finish of the Grizzly actions and the beauty of the Red Cedar stocks, it would have been an injustice to leave a dull finish on the barrels.

The chambers were both cut with the same reamer supplied by Dave Kiff of Pacific Tool and Gauge. Randy Robinett, one of the originators of the 30 BR wildcat, specified the reamer dimensions. Randy’s 118gr, 10-ogive custom BIB bullets and the 30 BR cartridge enjoy a winning track record in the USA. The 30 BR Robinette reamer has zero free-bore and a .330″ neck, and is optimized for the BIB 118s. The bullets perform best when seated far enough out to jam firmly into the rifling as the bolt is closed. The long ogive means the bullet’s bearing surface is very short.

Slow Twists for Maximum Accuracy
You may note the unusually slow twist rate of both barrels. In most .30-caliber chamberings, the barrel twist rate is 1:11 or 1:12 to stabilize 150gr to 200gr bullets. The 30 BR is optimized for 115gr to 118gr flat-base bullets and 1:17 provides sufficient stability at muzzle velocities around 2900-3000 fps. In competitive Benchrest, where every thousandth of an inch counts, over-stabilization of projectiles can hurt accuracy, so “just stable enough” is the goal; hence the 1:17 twist.

Case Forming, Case Prep, and Reloading Methods

Sinclair Neck Micrometer, 30 BR Neck Turning
A Sinclair case neck micrometer indicates neck thickness of 0.010″ after neck turning.

Sinclair Neck Micrometer, 30 BR Neck Turning30 BR dies are readily available from a number of manufacturers. I personally use Wilson neck and seating dies with a Sinclair Arbor press, but Redding and Forster both supply high-quality threaded dies for use in a conventional press. For under $100.00 US, custom full-length dies can be obtained from Hornady and CH Tool & Die by sending them reamer prints or a couple of fired cases. Harrell’s Precision offers “semi-custom” dies. Just send them some fired cases and they select a pre-made CNC-cut die that ideally fits your chamber. You can ask the Harrell brothers for a die that’s tighter at the shoulder or base, or otherwise customized to your preferences.

Load Development and Accuracy Testing
With cases formed and bullets selected, load development is simply a matter of choosing the right primer, powder and charge weight, and loading the most consistent ammunition possible. The Lapua BR cases use a small rifle primer. The choice here was Federal 205 Match primers vs. CCI BR4 Benchrest primers. Some shooters have also had success using CCI 450 Magnum primers but it is very unlikely the small case needs this much spark to light off regular extruded powders. In my case, I selected Federal primers because availability tends to be better in Australia.

The relatively large bore-to-capacity ratio of the 30 BR case means that fast burning powders are the order of the day. Once again, US experience suggests H4198 (the Hodgdon equivalent of ADI AR2207) is the choice of match winners. The fact that H4198/AR2207 is an Australian-made product is an added bonus. So, I loaded up test rounds with AR2207 from 32.5 grains to 35.0 grains in approximately 0.3 grain increments. All bullets were seated to jam +0.010″ into the lands. This places the bullet base about two-thirds of the way down the neck and well short of the neck-shoulder junction.

READ FULL Story on AccurateShooter.com Main Site »

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March 15th, 2020

Accurate Cartridges — The .284 Shehane, an Improved .284 Win

F-Class Reloading .284 Winchester Win Shehane Accuracy

If you look at that 5-round group you might think it was shot with a 6 PPC or maybe a 6mmBR. But no, this was done with heavy 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets and the .284 Shehane, an improved version of the .284 Winchester. In fact, this impressive sub-quarter MOA group was shot while fire-forming with a very well-worn barrel! Gun builder Ryan Pierce of Piercision Rifles explains:

Here’s a 5-shot 0.191″ group at 100 yards with my .284 Shehane fire-forming loads. This barrel has 2200 rounds through it. It had 2000 as a straight .284 Win and then I set it back to .284 Shehane to form brass with. This was the first five rounds through it after I cleaned it after the last match. [The load was] 180 Hybrids with 54.0 grains of H4831 SC.

Ya, I figured why not I had some old barrels laying around so I just chopped 2″ off the back and 1″ off the front and chambered it up as a Shehane. Had 1000 pieces to fireform and didn’t want to do all that on a brand new barrel.

My fireform loads are going 2765 FPS. I have a 29″ barrel also though since it’s a setback. Once you get it formed I would push it faster than that or I wouldn’t even bother with the Shehane. My old straight .284 load at 2890 fps had ES spread in single digits for 10 shots. I figured if I get it up to 2935-2950 fps that will be a point or two saved in a several day match.

.284 Winchester Shehane Reamer Print PT&G

Our friend Erik Cortina notes that the .284 Shehane has a velocity edge over the straight .284 Win because it holds more powder: “The Shehane has more capacity than the .284 Winchester. Ryan is using 54.0 grains simply as a fire-forming load. Typical load for a Shehane is around 57.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831 SC.” By blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc, with long barrels.

Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long-range round there is — bar none. Here is why:

You have to shoot a 30 Cal Magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight .284, the .300 WSM, and the .300 Win Mag with less recoil. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”

Scotland’s Grant Taylor. who used the .284 Shehane to finish third at the 2009 F-Class Worlds in England says the .284 Shehane is “very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. [This] caliber… has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”

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March 14th, 2020

Brownells St. Patrick’s Day Sale — Save on Tools, Ammo, Optics

Brownells St. Patricks day sale discount

Brownells is running a huge St. Patrick’s Day Sale right now. There are over 1000 items on sale, with big discounts on reloading tools, AR uppers/lowers, ammunition, triggers, optics and much more. Six notable sale items are previewed above, but that’s just a small sample — there are 1020 products on sale now through March 17 at 11:59 pm CDT. CLICK HERE to shop all 1020 Sale items.

Other sale items include Lapua Brass, Federal Primers, Vortex Scopes, RCBS Chargemasters, Rem 700 Actions, Howa Barreled Actions, Redding Dies, Redding Reloading Presses, CCI and SK Rimfire Ammo, 9mm Pistol Ammo (many brands), Winchester Powder, Lyman Case Prep Centers, and much more. TIP: When you get to the SALE Page, set the “Per Page” display to show 96 Items. That will speed up your shopping.

Brownells St. Patricks day sale discount

Brownells St. Patricks day sale discount

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March 14th, 2020

How to Ream Military Primer Pocket Crimps with Wilson Tool

Military crimp primer pocket reamer

Many shooters, particular those who shoot vintage military rifle matches, reload once-fired military cartridge brass. This brass may be high-quality and stout, but you may encounter a primer crimp* that interferes with the seating of a new primer. There are a variety of dedicated, military-crimp tools on the market, such as Dillon’s excellent Super Swage 600 tool that “rolls the crimp away”. But the Dillon tool costs $114.99 and takes quite a bit of room on your reloading bench. If you don’t want to drop a C-note and give up valuable bench space — here’s another (much cheaper) solution.

If you already have a Wilson case trimmer set-up, you can ream away those military crimps using an affordable Wilson accessory — the Primer Pocket Reamer (large #PPR210, small #PPR175). This $32.65 accessory is used in conjunction with a Wilson case trimmer and case-holder as shown above.

Military crimp primer pocket reamerWilson

In the respected Riflemans Journal website, the Editor, “GS Arizona”, showed how to use the Wilson primer pocket reamer to remove military crimps on Lake City .30-06 cartridge brass. He explains: “The case goes into the Wilson case-holder, the same one used for case trimming, and the reamer replaces the trimmer head in the tool base. The threaded rod on the left side, which is normally used to regulate trim length has no use for this operation and it is simply backed out. Hold the case-holder as you turn the reamer into the primer pocket, it cuts easily and quickly. The reamer will stop cutting when the proper depth is reached.”

Do you really need to do this operation with military-crimped brass? Yes, and here’s why: “Any attempt to prime the case without removing the crimp will simply result in a mangled primer that cannot be expected to fire and certainly won’t fire reliably.”

Vintage Military Rifle shooters often utilize surplus military brass with primer pocket crimps.
Vintage Military Rifle brass

*Why does military brass has a primer crimp? GS Arizona answers: “The crimp is nothing more than an intentional deformation of the case around the primer pocket, the purpose of which is to retain the primer in the case despite high pressure situations in machine guns and other automatic weapons where a loose primer may cause a malfunction. As reloaders, our task is to get rid of the remnants of the crimp in order to allow re-priming the case.”

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March 13th, 2020

Cartridge Base to Ogive (CBTO) Length — Factors to Consider

chamber length loading berger bullets
Here are two different bullet types, seated to the same CBTO length, but different COAL. Note the shiny scratches on the bullets made by the comparator tool which indicates a point on the bullet ogive near where the ogive will engage the rifling.

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridgeEffects Of Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) And Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) – Part 2
by Bryan Litz for Berger Bullets.
Part One of this series focused on the importance of COAL in terms of SAAMI standards, magazine lengths, seating depths, and pressure levels. Another measure of length for loaded ammunition is highly important to precision, namely Cartridge Base to Bullet Ogive Length (CBTO).

Figure 2. Chamber throat geometry showing the bullet jump to the rifling or lands.
chamber length loading berger bullets

Look at Figure 2. Suppose the bullet was seated out of the case to the point where the base of the bullet’s nose (ogive) just contacted the beginning of the riflings (the lands) when the bolt was closed. This bullet seating configuration is referred to as touching the lands, or touching the riflings and is a very important measurement to understand for precision hand-loading. Due to the complex dynamics of internal ballistics which happen in the blink of an eye, the distance a bullet moves out of the case before it engages the riflings is highly critical to precision potential. Therefore, in order to systematically optimize the precision of his handloads, it’s critically important that the precision hand-loader understands how to alter bullet seating depth in relation to the barrel rifling. Part of the required knowledge is understanding how to accurately and repeatably measure the Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) dimension. This is explained in the FULL ARTICLE.

Bryan Litz offers an extended discussion on how to measure CBTO using different tools and methods, including the Hornady OAL gauge. You can read this discussion in the full article found on the Berger Bullets website. CLICK HERE to Read Full Article.

Why Not Use CBTO as a SAAMI Standard?
If CBTO is so important to rifle accuracy, you might ask, “Why is it not listed as the SAAMI spec standard in addition to COAL?” There is one primary reason why it is not listed in the standard. This is the lack of uniformity in bullet nose shapes and measuring devices used to determine CBTO.

Benefits of Having a Uniform CBTO
There is another aspect to knowing your CBTO when checking your COAL as it pertains to performance. With good bullets, tooling, and carefully-prepared cases you can easily achieve a CBTO that varies less than +/- .001″ but your COAL can vary as much as .025″ extreme spread (or more with other brands). This is not necessarily bad and it is much better than the other way around. If you have a CBTO dimension that varies but your COAL dimension is tight (within +/- .002″) then it is most likely that your bullet is bottoming out inside the seater cone on the bullet tip. This is very bad and is to be avoided. It is normal for bullets to have precisely the same nose shape and it is also normal for these same bullets to have nose lengths that can vary as much as .025″.

Summary of Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) Discussion
Here are four important considerations regarding bullet seating depth as it relates to CBTO:

1. CBTO is a critical measurement to understand for handloaders because it’s directly related to precision potential, and you control it by simply setting bullet seating depth.

2. Tools and methods for measuring CBTO vary. Most of the measurement techniques have pitfalls (which may give rise to inconsistent results) that you should understand before starting out.

3. A CBTO that produces the best precision in your rifle may not produce the best precision in someone else’s rifle. Even if you have the same rifle, same bullets, same model of comparator gauges, etc. It’s possible that the gauges are not actually the same, and measurements from one don’t translate to the same dimension for another.

4. Once you find the CBTO that produces the best precision in your rifle, it’s important to allow minimal variation in that dimension when producing quality handloads. This is achieved by using quality bullets, tooling, and properly preparing case mouths and necks for consistent seating.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article with More Info
Article sourced by EdLongrange. We welcome tips from readers.
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